Monday, December 4, 2023

Here’s what’s on tap for Thursday’s Williamsburg City Council meeting

The Williamsburg City Council will consider allowing the Economic Development Authority to award COVID-19 Business Relief grants using re-designated Tourism Development Grant Fund money.

That’s just one the resolutions on tap during a special council meeting — virtually –- at 2 p.m. Thursday.

That resolution, if approved, would allow the development authority to award grants to locally owned businesses to offset the financial burden brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

City Council will consider making nearly $4 million designated for the Tourism Development Grant Fund available to be used for the COVID-19 Business relief grant and to offset potential revenue shortfalls resulting from COVID-19 mitigation measures.

City staff anticipate a worst-case scenario revenue deficit for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 of $10.7 million.

The grant has an application process and businesses that qualify will receive a grant valued at half of their paid 2019 Business, Professional and Occupational Tax, according to a news release from the city.

Grants will be awarded on a first come first serve basis to qualifying businesses. The filing deadline is June 1. All awards will be processed by Aug. 31, according to the news release.

City County will also consider a resolution allow the city staff to apply for a state Department of Housing and Community Development Block Grant. The grant would allow the city to be reimbursed for some costs of assisting with emergency housing and food for some residents during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

The amount to be requested in the grant is $165,203. This requires two public hearings – the next one will be on May 14.

City Council will also consider adopting two other resolutions designed to keep the city on a “firm financial footing” and temporarily moving polling places for the Matoaka and Stryker Voting Precincts to a drive-thru style unified polling place at the Williamsburg Fire Department.

To join the meeting and speak go to:

Public comment is limited to five minutes.

To provide written comment, email at least one hour before the meeting.

Watch the meeting live here.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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